Yup, you guessed it by the title of this article. The long-awaited David episode of The Last Of Us is finally here.
Episode 8, the penultimate episode of season one, explores the character of David, a fan favorite (one of those love-to-hate-him kind of guys) of the video games.
While we would have loved more than just 51 minutes with this man, what we got is chilling and suspenseful. Plus, it gave Ellie a lot of time to be at the forefront of the story, and we love seeing her come into her own even more.
An Introduction to David & His Followers
As soon as a man can be heard reading scripture to a room full of survivors at the start of the episode, fans of the game will know what is coming. It quickly becomes clear that this is a funeral. A young girl about Ellie’s age is crying over the loss of her father. She asks when they will bury him, and the preacher, who we find out is David, tells her the ground is too cold to dig, and they can do so in the Spring.
As David walks out of the room where they are all gathered, James (played by the video game voice of Joel, Troy Baker) talks with him. David tells him he senses doubt in his people, and James says they are just scared.
Ellie Goes Hunting
We Flash to Ellie and Joel now; he is still recovering but not doing well. She wets his lips with water and puts a very small amount of food on his chest, making it clear they are running out of it. She whispers that she will be right back and takes the gun to go hunting. When she hears a deer, she uses the skills Joel taught her to shoot it. It runs off injured, and she goes after it – but James and David find it first.
In a scene ripped right out of the video game, The Last Of Us episode 8 shows Ellie and David meeting. The two men are about to take the deer when Ellie comes out of the woods and points her gun at them. David tells her he has a large group desperate for food, including women and children. He asks her if they can make a trade for half the deer and asks if there is anything she needs. Ellie immediately responds to see if they have infection medication, and David nods, sending James to the settlement to get penicillin and a syringe. He tells Ellie they can make camp and wait since it will be a while.
David and Ellie talk, and he explains that he used to be a teacher but is a preacher now. He finds God after the apocalypse and starts to go on, but then his attitude suddenly seems to change. He says this group chose him as a leader, and he now has many mouths to feed.
He explains that he believes everything happens for a reason. That there was a man at his settlement that another man had recently killed. A man was traveling with a girl about her age. This is when it is revealed that he is talking about the man that stabbed Joel at the university.
The other men survived and told David’s settlement about what happened. David then tells James to lower his gun — revealing that he is behind Ellie with a gun pulled on her. David tells James to give her the medicine, and they let her go. James is not thrilled about it, but David says he has a plan.
Ellie goes right to Joel and injects the penicillin into his wound. She then lays down on him and falls asleep.
Another Kind of Hunt
Back at David’s settlement, they make soup from the venison of Ellie’s kill. David says that if they hear a rumor, it’s true. They found the girl, and when there was light, they would follow the tracks and bring the man to justice.
Back to Ellie and Joel, and we see her injecting him with medicine again. She goes outside, and all the birds are flying away from something, and she knows this is strange. She sees David, James, and a group of men who seem to be hunting them. David says they will kill the man and return the girl to the settlement. James questions that, saying she will be just another mouth to feed, but David insists he knows what he is doing.
Ellie is alarmed and knows they are coming after her. She tries to get Joel up but can’t as he is slipping and out of consciousness. She puts a knife on his chest and barricades the door, telling him that men are coming and she will lead them away, but should anyone get down there, she needs Joel to kill them. Ellie then takes the horse and shoots at the men, trying to make them follow her and leave Joel alone. David reiterates to keep her alive as the group runs after her.
James shoots and kills her horse, and she is thrown on the ground and knocked out. He is about to shoot her when David shoots in the air to stop them. David picks up Elie and tells two of the men to go with him, taking the horse for meat, back to the settlement. He tells the others to go door to door and, if they are hungry for vengeance, deliver it to the right person.
Joel hears a man above him in the house he’s in and musters all of his energy to get up. We don’t see him as the man comes down the stairs, but Joel is suddenly behind him with a knife. He stabs him in the neck and kills him. He finds other men and interrogates them about where their camp is, and Ellie is. After they reveal it, he kills them.
The Last Of Us episode 8 now brings us back to David’s settlement, where we see Ellie waking up inside a cage. David is right there, watching her. He says he is offering her a new beginning. He wants her to join the settlement since she cannot survive alone and will soon be alone.
Ellie Gives David a Taste of His Own Medicine
David brings Ellie a bowl of stew, but Ellie does not want to eat it. She shows David that she found an ear in the cage with her. David says, for what it’s worth, the bowl he gave her is just deer meat, not human meat. David says only a few of the people following him know they eat human meat, and he would have told her eventually. David says it was a last resort because he had to keep his followers alive and fed. He says Ellie reminds him of himself — smart, loyal, and a natural leader. He says she also has a violent heart like him.
David then explains that it is not really God he found during the hard times, but Cordyceps (the fungi that started the outbreak). It loves, but it defends with violence if it must. David wants an equal, and he thinks Ellie could be that person. It seems he wishes to start a life with her and maybe even be in a relationship with her. He tries to rub her hand to show his intentions, and she acts as if she will accept before breaking his finger and biting him.
We then see Joel in a snowstorm trying to get to Ellie, and it appears he has arrived. Inside the settlement, he finds their meat storage, where he sees the horse and several hanging bodies with no heads. This is when he knows what these people are and knows how urgent it is to find Ellie as soon as possible.
David and James come in to kill Ellie, but she yells that she’s infected to stop them. She even says sorry for biting him. The two men check her arm, distracting them as they argue whether it is real. James is worried about David being infected, so David kills James.
They go to the bar, and Ellie must sneak around behind counters and booths to surprise David. He yells out that neither one of them is dying because he decided he is going to keep her and teach her. He keeps calling out her name, which is extremely creepy and gives this scene a very high-stakes feel.
Ellie sneaks up on him and stabs him. David kicks her and climbs on top of her. He says biting is his favorite part, and it seems like he will sexually abuse her. She fights back with everything she has and can grab a knife and knock him down. She then goes crazy with adrenaline and stabs him to death in an overkill way.
When Ellie gets outside, a man comes behind her, and she starts screaming and fighting back until she realizes it’s Joel. He holds her and says, “it’s ok, baby girl, I got you.” The two hobble off together, holding each other.
The Last Of Us episode 8 tells the fan-favorite story of David, and it truly delivers. Allowing Troy Baker to be a part of this is the perfect fit for him, as it was nice to see him get a lot of screen time. The only real complaint about the episode is that it would have been cool to see him go up against Pedro – Joel vs. Joel, if you will.
The way this story plays out is very similar to the game, and while it feels like it was a little rushed, being crammed into just one episode. However, that is what The Last Of Us season 1 has been doing all along: cramming key moments into one episode.